One of the nation's most respected Army band conductors is coming to Lawrence.
Col. L. Bryan Shelburne, leader and commander of the U.S. Army Band, will guest conduct next week three public performances and will work with junior high students at a music camp on the Kansas University campus.
Robert Foster, KU's director of bands, said it is tradition to bring conductors in for the music camps, but it is usually the high school camps who work with them. The junior high students will get an opportunity that many students their age will not.
``We are very fortunate to have Col. Shelburne with us,'' Foster said. ``It will be special for the people in these bands to work with the premiere person in their area.''
Foster also invited Shelburne to Lawrence because he thought it would be incredible to have three Army bands performing at one concert -- something he believes hasn't happened anywhere before.
That concert will feature the 43rd U.S. Army Band, the 35th Infantry Division Band from Olathe and the 312th U.S. Army Band from Lawrence at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Lied Center.
Shelburne, who has been active in the military music field since 1969, looks forward to coming to Lawrence to work with the Army band members and the junior high students.
``I like meeting people,'' Shelburne said. ``And working with a variety of people keeps me growing. Being able to guest conduct younger bands is such a terrific way to keep in touch with what kids are doing.''
Shelburne considers working in the nation's capital with professional musicians a privilege. The job keeps him busy because the U.S. Army Band welcomes leaders from foreign countries and is slated for other public performances.
In the past, Shelburne has worked as the leader of the military band at West Point, and he headed the Army Element School of Music for more than half of its existence.
He also served as assistant director of the Armed Forces Bicentennial Band in `75-'76.
``It was a great opportunity to see hometown America,'' he said. ``It renewed one's sense of faith in the country.''
Shelburne also has been a school teacher and a church choir director. The opportunity to perform for others is what keeps him going.
``The best part is stepping on the stage and performing a program and having the opportunity to see the lights in people's eyes,'' he said. ``We bring something that people can appreciate.''
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